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Happy New Year

I finished a project on New Year’s Eve, but haven’t photographed the final result yet. I did scan the completed stitching, though:

Poppy Biscornu 12.11

My love affair with biscornus continues…

Vitals:
Poppy Biscornu by Faby Reilly Designs
Stitched as charted on 32-ct. white linen
I had big plans to modify the back from the original design, but I burned out completely. I got sidetracked after starting this in October. By December’s end, I just wanted to finish the thing and be done with it. I couldn’t believe it had taken me so long to finish.In the end, I omitted all text and simply stitched a bud on each corner, rather than just the one.

Plans for 2012

I’m feeling a bit scattered with my stitching goals. My primary goals right now are to complete Shores of Hawk Run Hollow and to work on Pieta each month. I’ve signed up for a SAL of Mirabilia’s Touching the Autumn Sky which begins the last week of January, and except for wanting to stitch pretty much my entire stash, those are my current New Year goals. I desperately want to start Ann Dale: Big and Beautiful, but there are a ouple of things standing in my way: 1. I’ve ordered her, but not received her yet. 2. This is just as well, as I’m restricting myself from starting her until I’ve completed 11 blocks of SHRH. <– Notice the disciplined restraint. ;)

Best wishes for a happy, healthy New Year. Happy Stitching! :)

Another Christmas

Come and gone. Sigh.

Welcome to my tidy blog. My sister recently visited my blog and told me it’s quite tidy. So, thanks for that, Sissy M! Um, I think. Hope. Accept. I yam who I yam.

I had a wonderful Christmas, and hope you did, as well. It was a small, quiet affair, just me, the husband and the boy. December was filled with Christmas stitching and fun.

 Stitched by me, for me

One piece I stitched for myself was Atalie’s Decembre 2007 biscornu. I finished it fairly early in December, but I was waiting for the ornament from Wendy and didn’t get around to posting a picture. I like the teeny beads in the same color as the tree’s ornaments on the seam. I originally planned to cover some wooden beads with the red beads and attach them to the top “corners.” I didn’t bc I decided the shape wasn’t quite right. My first attempt was a bit of a disaster. If I’d thought they would work, I would have kept trying until I was satisfied. I admit I’m sort of glad I didn’t like it, haha.

Decembre 2007 Biscornu by Atalie 12.10

Vitals:
Decembre 2007 biscornu, designed by Martine Viard Ligier  of Atalie.
Stitched on 32-ct Little Boy Blue linen w provided silk fibers.

I also stitched myself an ornament from the 1998 JCS Ornament issue. The plan was to finish before the Night Before Christmas, but I came down with a HumBug. It wasn’t the kind where you don’t have Christmas spirit, but the one where you are sick. I was so fatigued. At one point I sat down to stitch the girl’s hair, and only got in two stitches before I stopped. I snapped to several minutes later. I’d been staring into space, about to doze off. It was after Christmas before I managed to finish. I’m not sure if I’ll finish it as an ornament or a flat fold. We’ll see what inspiration I get.

Night Before Christmas 12.10

This was a lot of fun to stitch. The dark blue night wasn’t even tedious. No, really! It took forever, but I didn’t mind. I’ve admired this for so long. I feel so lucky to have it! I’m so goofy. ;)

Vitals:
Night Before Christmas by Birds of a Feather as appeared in JCS Ornament issue, 1998.
Stitched on 32-ct Shell linen instead of Raw linen and with recommended fibers except the following substitutions: GAST Soot instead of WDW Charcoal, GAST Mistletoe instead of WDW Emerald, WDW Peach Fuzz for WDW Mexicali,DMC 4240 for WDW Navy, CC Lettuce Leaf for WDW Aqua, and WDW White Lightning in Santa’s beard and WDW Icicle for GAST Oatmeal.

Here’s a snippet of my lovely stitchy Christmas:

In addition to the pieces I stitched for myself, you can see my stitchy gifts and the card Wendy made me for our exchange. The pink fabric is the nearly impossible to find 24-ct congress cloth in rose. Had I known “rose” meant pink, I don’t think I would have been so nervous about getting the “just right” fabric (canvas). The husband was told that congress cloth isn’t made anymore, as it’s too fine for needlepoint. He managed to find a supply about 40 miles from home at Homestead Needlearts. Apparently, Theresa is rolling in congress cloth. She had to check to make sure she had a big enough piece of rose, but she was enthusiastic when she said she has congress cloth. Hooray! and Huzzah! for the husband. Now I can begin Bargello Symphony. I’m excited and a bit nervous. You can see I also got two Shepherd’s Bush kits–the new Merry Be pincushion and the Take Joy kit, along with the box that Take Joy is designed to go in. The box is hinged. The way it’s painted, I thought it was metal. It’s not. :D I also got a gift certificate from The Rocking Horse, my favorite LNS. That’s it on top of the congress cloth–they slip the certificate into a giant die-cut flos bobbin wound with different colors of yarn. How fun!

The other stitched piece you see is a gift from my dear friend, Jay. She stitched this for her mother many years ago. It’s Christiana Campbell’s in Williamsburg, VA. Jay told me her mother loved the tavern, especially the oyster stew and huge checkerboard napkins. I’ve only been to Williamsburg once, and never visited the tavern. If I make it to Williamsburg again, I’ll make a point of visiting Christiana Campbell’s. Jay has been slowly parting with her late mother’s things, and thought I would appreciate the gift. She was right. Thank you, Jay.

In the interest of full-disclosure, and too keep a reminder for myself, I share a picture of my bead-covered bead misstep.

I need to get my goals for next year organized. If I should refrain from posting until after the New Year, please have yourself a safe and festive New Year. I hope to see you next year. Happy stitching. :)

Bee Charmer

I didn’t realize it had been so long since I’d posted.  I was busy in a happy stitching spot, which is the best place to be. :)

I’ve been busy on a BAP.  I expect to post a WIP picture in a couple of days.  Meanwhile, I also stitched Bee Charmer, a biscornu kit by Indigo Rose.

Finished stitching, 07.31.10

Bee Charmer 07.31.10

This is the best representation of the fabric.

Put together, 08.09.10

Bee Charmer 08.10

Bee Charmer collage 08.10

The instructions say to make tassels out of all the colors of leftover floss. I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t care for it in the model picture. And besides, I had a HUGE frogging event, which left me without enough floss in the corner color (Caron Waterlilies Steel). So I used it to stitch a corner motif on the bottom. In the original kit, the bottom is an unstitched piece of linen.  *horrors!*

I originally planned to make tassels out of one of the other colors, but I would have had to go to the LNS.  I always love an excuse to go to the LNS.  I got impatient, it was Sunday, and it just so happened I had some Mill Hill beads that matched the glass beads that were supposed to be part of the tassel.  I’m really happy with it.   

Vitals:
Bee Charmer biscornu kit.
Designed by Catherine Strickler of Indigo Rose.
Stitched with included supplies. Embellished with included beads plus Mill Hill Beads #275.

Happy Stitching! :)

Jingle! jingle, jingle

So, I finally finish-finished something!  Go, me!  It’s a small and belated accomplishment, but I’m taking it.  I couldn’t decide what to do about the trim–or if I even wanted trim.  I’m slow.  Sue me. ;)

Jingle! biscornu

 

Jingle! biscornu by Just Nan.  It’s from her Over the Top! series.  The model was finished with burgundy ribbon bows at four corners.  I didn’t want to do that, because I didn’t want to be “stuck” with one side being the top.  I wanted to incorporate jingle bells in the embellishments until I realized the only thing that makes this design “jingly” is the name.  Besides, if I was going to use bells, I wanted them to have a nice tone, and any bells that are small enough for my taste are more about decoration than jingling.  So much for that idea.  I thought I’d do a ruched trim.  It’s a small biscornu, and the 4mm ribbon I had seemed too big.  I ordered 2mm ribbon.  That didn’t work to my satisfaction.  I thought the ribbon was too thin.  I needed something “just right.”  I finally decided to crochet the trim with DMC 3689.  I’m not a skilled crocheter, but I actually even remembered how to single crochet!  It was a sign.  It doesn’t show up well in the photos, but the pearly beads are a pale green color.  I think they work; I’m pleased.

Vitals: Jingle! biscornu by Just Nan
Stitched on 28-ct opalescent white linen using recommended DMC fibers and included bead embellishments.  Trimmed with DMC 3689 single crocheted trim and pearly beads.

Jingle! biscornu side view

Jingle! Biscornu, side 1 Jingle! biscornu, side 2

Back to school

I lost my blogging mojo this summer.  It was a wonderful summer, visiting the husband for two solid months.  Long-distance relationships are hard and lonely.  Thank goodness for Skype.   Today is the boy’s first day in a new school.  We’re very excited about this school and hope it’s a positive change.   Back to a routine that hopefully includes stitching and blogging.

I didn’t get much stitching done while we were gone.  The light was bad in the husband’s apartment, and I didn’t want to buy a stronger lamp for the place.  Then what excuse would I have?

Here’s what I managed to stitch:

Jingle! Biscornu 07.09
Jingle! Biscornu by Just Nan.

Pineapple Fob 07.09
Pineapple Fob by It’s Fine-ally Finished

And of course,
Glory Scissor Fob 07.09
Glory Fob by Shepherd’s Bush

 

elizabethan stitching accessories cushion 425

elizabethan fob 250Elizabethan Stitching Accessories by Talledo Designs.

I screwed up with my counting for the pincushion. I want to make it a mattress cushion, and thought it would be lovely to have the bargello side border. However, I counted terribly, and it’s too short. The worst part is that I don’t have enough of the silk left to stitch another border. I’ll have to stew about what to do for a while. *sob* :(

After I got home, I stitched this (very slowly):

live love laugh wip 08 09 425

Live, Laugh, Love by La-D-Da

I’ve abandoned this. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with it, I just don’t love it. Surprising, when you consider how much trouble I went through to get this. I visited three stores before I found it. First store hadn’t received it yet, second store had no idea what I was talking about (!), and finally in Las Vegas (thank you, Stitcher’s Paradise!) I got the last copy. And now, I don’t love it. :( I’m not loving the green at all. OK, I’m not even liking it. It’s the third shade I’ve tried. I love the brown (CC Belle Soie Espresso). Love it. I like the pink (Watercolors Cherry). I thought I would love it, but I only like it. The green, not so much. I tried. I really did. It’s just not working.

I’m going back to other projects. I received my new fabric for CHS’ Shores of Hawk Run Hollow, and put about twenty stitches in. And I have other wips, not to mention smalls that need finishing. Enough to keep me busy without driving myself crazy.

Happy Stitching!  It’s good to “see” y’all again.

Spice Willow

Spice Willow complete 10.08

This was a gift for a dear friend of mine.  I had a heck of a time getting good pictures of this biscornu.  I took pictures inside and out, near and far, and was never satisfied.  Here’s the scan of the finished stitching, which shows an accurate depiction of the colors:

Spice Willow stitching 10.08

Deciding you want to stitch a gift for a friend is the easy part.  Then you have to decide on a design and make color choices.  It was sweet agony, but I love my final choice.  At first I was trying to decide on two color choices.  I think using the floss the way I did, letting the colors flow randomly in parts, and stitching very deliberately on the butterflies and a couple spots on the bottom worked out beautifully.

I named this “Spice Willow.”  While I was stitching, I was loving contrast between the icy blue linen and the spicy floss.  My mantra while stitching was “Ice/spice, ice/spice, icy/spicy…”  Then I remembered that the name of the top pattern was Japanese Willow.  A biscornu was dubbed.  So, I name my biscornus sometimes.  I love them, I can’t help them.

As it turns out, the pattern in question is *not* named Japanese Willow.  It merely reminded me of Japanese Willow patterns.  It’s actually a motif from The Gift of Stitching magazine’s Chinese Blue & White Embroidered Bag.  Not Japanese at all.  My friend’s nom de web is Tiger Willow, so perhaps that’s why I got confused.  My brain, she is smarter than me. ;)  At any rate, I named it, and I’m not changing it.

Spice Willow side view 10.08

I love this picture so much!

Vitals:
Stitched on 32-ct Little Boy Blue linen with Thread Gatherers Silk ‘N Colors Turkey Feathers floss, 2 over 2.
Top design taken from Chinese Blue & White Embroidered Bag by The Gift of Stitching, from issue 13 (Feb ’07). I flipped the butterflies upside down from the original design. The bottom design is from Alchemy Stitchcrafts’ Oriental Plum sampler. I switched out the corners from the original design for part of the motif from the top design. The butterflies, purple motifs on the bottom and initials/date were sequenced. Other motifs were stitched randomly. Embellished with 4mm River Silks ribbon.

Pretty in Pink

I was never over the moon about Indigo Rose’s Pretty Pink breast cancer awareness biscornu…until I saw a shop model.  OMG, I thought it was to die for! So much smaller, so much cuter, so irresistible IRL!  I started stitching it as a karate project straight away.  And then…buttonhole bars.  A stitch I’d never even heard of before.  I tried to stitch it without a strong light or magnifying lens.  Well, I have clippy magnifying lenses for away-from-home stitching, but no strong light.  That didn’t go well.  I had no idea what I was doing, if I was doing it right.  It took awhile before I was brave enough to try again, this time at home under the daylight lamp.  I guess I was avoiding something else…cutting threads on Desiderata, maybe, you ask?  Yeah.  Probably so. ;o) 

I had a few false starts–three or four, I’m not sure–before I felt like I “got” what was going on.  I did a decent enough job for a fake-it-til-you-make-it attempt.  Actually, my initials and the date are, I think, the wonkiest part of this biscornu.  I did them on the diagonal so they’d be face up when you looked at them.  I’m glad you can’t see them under the tassels, because they’re uneven and unbalanced.  I arranged the biscornu on my table with the initials facing backward to prevent drawing attention to them.  I call the initials and year “vanity plates” b/c I think I’m funny. 

Pretty in Pink biscornu top 05.08

Pretty in Pink stitched.

Pretty in Pink Biscornu 05-08

I painted the pedestal white.  It’s an uneven paint job; I did that on purpose.  I used DMC 818 no.12 perle cotton for the tassels instead of the white perle cotton included in the kit.

Pretty in Pink

Vanity Plates!

Vitals:
Pretty in Pink breast cancer awareness biscornu kit
Designer: Catherine Strickler of Indigo Rose
Substitutions from kit supplies: used DMC 818 no.12 perle cotton for tassels instead of included white, painted pedestal white

Dragonfly Pond

Know what?  It’s actually possible to overstuff a biscornu.  I like my biscornus plump and full.  I went a little overboard with this one, and had a helluva time getting the center stitched.  I couldn’t pull it as tightly as I like to; it was stuffed too full.  This guy caused me tons of trouble.  I don’t love it any less.  I still love it bunches.  I’m glad to have it out of my hair, too.

What I’ve learned: 
OK, number 1: Don’t cut too close to the edge of the design before finishing! 
Number 2: Use my curved needle when stitching the pieces together.  It’s easier.  Don’t forget next time. *sigh* *shaking head*
Number 3: Stuff full, but don’t overstuff.  I will be sad.
Number 4: If embellishing with beads, use them when stitching the pieces together, not after.  That way they for certain won’t be uneven, which I hate.  Not so much that I can’t let things be. :)
Number 5: If you’re moved to name your biscornu, let everyone know: Yeah, “Dragonfly Pond!” How’d ya guess?

The Vitals:
Design: Dragonfly by Elizabeth’s Designs
Fabric: random green scrap of 32-ct linen, stitched 2 over 2
Floss: as charted, except for DMC 945, which was substituted for 948 *shrug* Close enough.  And I stitched the leaves symmetrically, rather than sequentially, b/c that’s the kind of hairpin I am. ;)
Monogram by Linda P Reeves of La Broderie, like I always do.

Now for the best part:  Plenty-lots-of pictures! :D

dragonfly pond stitching 08.07

Re-stitching complete.

dragonfly pond biscornu  top 08.07

The top, with the included dragonfly charm.  The cool thing about this charm is that it has legs underneath.  I love it.

dragonfly pond biscornu side 08.07

The side, with added baby dragonflies, afluttering about the “pond.”

dragonfly pond biscornu bottom 08.07

The bottom.